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Oxford United 3-0 Gillingham: Pressure mounts on Pennock after Kassam collapse

Gillingham’s head coach Adrian Pennock comes under fire from the fans after defeat sends winless Gills to second-from-bottom of League One



Credit: Kent Pro Images
Kent Pro Images

Gillingham’s league campaign went from bad to worse under head coach Adrian Pennock as a second-half collapse saw the visitors well beaten by Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.

Pennock made a number of changes to the Gills’ lineup, with Gabriel Zakuani returning to the starting lineup to play in the heart of the Gills’ defence alongside Ben Nugent and Alex Lacey. Max Ehmer was the odd man out, who dropped to the bench.

There was no place, too, for Luke O’Neill, who was also left on the bench with Scott Wagstaff occupying the role on the right hand side. There was a first league start of the season for Jake Hessenthaler, who slotted into the middle of midfield with Billy Bingham ruled out. And striker Liam Nash was dropped to the bench to accommodate the return from suspension of striker Connor Wilkinson, who partnered fellow target man Tom Eaves up front.

But despite the changes to the Gills’ lineup, the game went away from the visitors after conceding three goals in eight second-half minutes as the Kent club crashed to their fourth league defeat in six games.

Oxford took the lead in the 48th minutes when Jack Payne (not the former Gills midfielder, the on-loan Huddersfield striker) put the hosts ahead, and Gillingham capitulated shortly after, conceding goals to Joe Rothwell and Rob Hall in the 54th and 56th minutes respectively.

For their part, Gillingham could muster just two shots on target in a game that sent the Gills down to second-from-bottom of the League One table. Only Oldham Athletic, who picked up their first point of the season in a 2-2 away draw at Fleetwood, are below them.

The full-time whistle was met by boos, jeers and chants for both head coach Pennock and chairman Paul Scally to leave the club, as the 382 travelling Gills fans made their feelings known after another disappointing performance.

Gills team vs Oxford

Holy, Ogilvie, Wagstaff, Lacey, Zakuani (Ehmer 76), Nugent, Martin, Byrne, Hessenthaler, Eaves (Parker 57), Wilkinson (Nash 57)

Unused subs: Arnold, O’Neill, Oldaker, Clare

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